A Short Patient Clerking Teaching Intervention to Increase First Year Graduate-Entry Medical Student Self-Efficacy and Knowledge


Alice Eaton
Swansea University



Patient clerking is a vital skill and learning tool for medical students, which may have variable teaching coverage. Self-efficacy, belief in capacity to perform a task, may be low in first year medical students in relation to patient clerking skills as learning opportunities can be impromptu.


A teaching session was designed for first year graduate-entry medical students to introduce the concept of patient clerking with a practical documentation element. Students were asked to rate their self-efficacy on a 5-point Likert scale before and immediately after the session. A short knowledge assessment was also completed before and immediately after the session to determine knowledge acquisition from the session.


100 first year graduate entry medical students participated in the intervention. Self-efficacy ratings increased from median 1 (IQR 1-2) to 3 (IQR 3-4) (n=95, p<0.001 by Wilcoxon Signed Rank test). Knowledge assessment scores increased from median 4 (IQR 3-5) to 5 (IQR 5-5) (n=97, p<0.001 by Wilcoxon Signed Rank test). The increased in self-efficacy and knowledge of the students immediately post-intervention suggest the teaching session was effective, however due to the limitations of the study design this cannot be definitively causally linked. Assessment over time to determine the maintenance of knowledge and self-efficacy was not performed in this study, and would be a valuable addition for future work.

 Key messages

A targeted teaching intervention may be effective in increasing student self-efficacy and knowledge in relation to patient clerking skills.

December 30, 2020